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February 25, 2011

Nickelodeon Gag #7

This was the last of my 2006 gags, which were printed in Nickelodeon Magazine.  In my mind I always called it "Octagolie."

This one is a bit embarrassing for me to look at, because it's so obvious to me now how to make it a more exciting image...  but more about that NEXT week, when I'll talk about my big "gag epiphany" and we'll move on into my 2007 gags.

One small area of improvement in this gag, is that I finally reversed my signature out of a background area with pure color, instead of putting a white stroke around it, as I had previously done.  It's a small thing, but it makes the signature easier to read and a lot cleaner, graphically speaking.

The other big breakthrough for me on this gag was how to properly draw a soccer ball!  Before this drawing, I thought a soccer ball was a series of hexagons.  But after an hour of trying to make that work on the page, I finally looked at some reference photos and discovered that a soccer ball is actually a black PENTAGON, surrounded by white hexagons.  Who knew?!

February 22, 2011

A Crane for Galen

A few weeks ago, my sister Galen sent me this photo of her writing desk, and all of the art that is hung above it, some of which I drew, and some of which is by other folks.

Mainly she sent me this photo so I could see where she hung the Christmas present I got for her, which was the original art for the cover of her first published picture book, Yes Let's which was drawn by the extremely talented Maris Wicks.  You can see the black and white line drawing on the top left (in the green frame), which I bought from Maris at SPX last year.  Here's how it actually looks on the cover of the book, in wonderful full color:

There are a ton of places you can order this book, which are all listed on the Tugboat Press website (including at Powell's!) and of course I'm biased, but I highly recommend that people pick up this book.  It's about a family making a day trip out into nature.  Galen wrote it in delightful rhymes and Maris's illustrations add a lot to the story and will have you smiling through the whole thing.  Anyway, highly highly recommended.   

Another item on Galen's wall is a crane that I drew for her a few years ago when she was living in Portland, Oregon.  At the time, she was really fascinated with cranes, so I drew this for her birthday.  I think during this period she also wrote an alphabet book all about cranes and their many parts.  I've never read it, but hopefully some day that will see the light of day! 

February 18, 2011

Nickelodeon Gag #6

Here is the sixth one-panel gag of mine that was printed in Nickelodeon Magazine way back in 2006:

My inspiration for this gag was the Ying Yang symbol.   At first, I was trying really hard to balance everything out on opposite sides of the water line.  Here is the original sketch, which had a MINE in the bottom right corner, to balance out the sun.  Obviously, I was asked to take that out, so I replaced it with my signature.

February 10, 2011

Nickelodeon Gag #5

My sisters and I grew up in Seattle, Washington and when we were kids back in the 80s, we would often drive by the Rainer Veterinary Hospital when we went to pick our Dad up after work.  On the street by the building, they have TWO fire hydrants, one painted blue with a "HIS" sign on top, and the other painted pink, with a "HERS" sign.  They are still there!  I was able to grab a low-res photo of them using Google Street View:

This was always HILARIOUS to me when I was a kid, so I adapted the idea for a gag for Nickelodeon Magazine, back in 2006:

February 4, 2011

Ramen Music #3 Cover

My friend Sudara's newest creative endeavor Ramen Music is still going strong.  He is currently paying musicians $150 for new tracks, which he groups together into "issues" which are then available for download to paying subscribers.  Anyone can listen to the music for free, streaming online.  The more subscribers he gets, the more he pays for each track.  Needless to say, this is one of the coolest distribution models for music in use today.  No one's getting screwed over, and it is a great chance to hear some original music.

Above and beyond all that, each issue is also beautifully designed.  There is a cover image (I drew the image for issue one, remember?) and then Sudara and his team design a sort of digital music player/interactive liner note webpage which is extremely pleasant to scroll through / read / listen to.  Here is the link for Ramen Music Issue One, if you want to go experience it.

The cover for Ramen Music Issue Two was done by the incredibly talented Lisa Hanawalt, and then the cover for Ramen Music Issue Three (which just came out today!) was done by yours truly.  The theme for this issue was Beats, Drums and Rhythms, so this six-sticked, drumming octopus seemed appropriate:

I really can't recommend this music enough.  You really should go give it a listen!  And if you are a musician, Ramen Music is looking for new tracks for the next issue, so you should send them your stuff!